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Watermelon-smashing stand-up comic Gallagher dead at 76

Getty Images/Leo Gallagher Jr.

Gallagher, who was a stand-up mainstay in the '80s, thanks to an act that would see him smashing watermelons and other items onstage, has died, ABC Audio has confirmed.

The comedian, who was born Leo Anthony Gallagher Jr., was 76 and passed away in Palm Springs after a "short health battle," according to his publicist.

Gallagher's An Uncensored Evening in 1980 was his first comedy special for Showtime, bringing his odd brand of humor and his "Sledge-o-matic" hammer to a nationwide audience.

In the '90s, Gallagher allowed his brother, Ron Gallagher, to use his famous "Sledge-O-Matic" bit in his own stand-up act, but after Ron started performing as Gallagher Too or Gallagher Two, the original sued him in 2000 for trademark violations and barred Ron from performances in which he allegedly impersonated Leo.

Gallagher was recently portrayed by actor Paul F. Tompkins in Roku's new Weird Al Yankovic biopic, Weird: The Al Yankovic Story.

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